German engineering company, Siemens Energy, has disclosed that the revamp of the power framework within Nigeria will take five years more than its earlier expected date of completion.
According to the energy company, the delay is due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic
Back in 2019, then-President, Muhammadu Buhari, in collaboration with Siemens, unveiled a road map geared towards resolving existing challenges in the power sector and expanding capacity for future power needs in Nigeria.
The project which involved three phases had the objectives to deliver an additional 2GW to the grid, to significantly reduce ATC&C losses, and to achieve improved grid stability and reliability,
“When we conceptualized this project in 2018, our plan was within two years we should be done with phase one, but then Covid happened,” a Bloomberg report detailed in an interview with the Head of Business Development and Government Relations for Siemens Energy, Oladayo Orolu, on Monday.
“Some raw material components costs have been doubled, some are still close to where they used to be, some are just marginally higher.”
Orolu was optimistic that the electricity output in the country would increase by an additional 2,000 megawatts at the completion of phase one by 2025.
“The objective of phase one is to do quick fix projects that will free up 2,000 megawatts, we currently have 5000, we are looking at taking that to 7,000,” he said.
The report said the delay is a big setback to the proposed reforms of President Bola Tinubu.
Tinubu’s first few weeks in office saw him assenting to the Electricity Bill, which authorised states, companies and individuals to generate, transmit and distribute electricity.
The new electricity law repealed the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) which was signed by then President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005.
Siemens revealed it had a “rough start” in handling this project as “the transmission grid was 100% controlled by the Federal Government, while electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) are controlled by private operators (with a 40% stake retained by the government).”
It also revealed that “for Nigeria to achieve desirable industrial growth and economic development, a strong, stable, and efficient National Grid is still essential. Nigeria’s installed generation capacity is currently at ~14GW and its grid network capacity of about half of that is not sufficient to support Nigeria’s ambition of being an industrialised nation.”